APUSH final timeline


Teheran Conference

November 1943

Churchill and FDR went to Tehran, Iran for their first meeting with Stalin. Soviets agreed to enter Pacific War after hostilities in Europe ended, and Roosevelt promised that an Anglo-American second front would be established within 6 months.

GI Bill

June 22, 1944

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, provided economic and educational assistance to veterans, increasing spending even further.

Dumbarton Oaks Conference

August 21, 1944

Was an international conference at which the United Nations was formulated and negotiated among international leaders. The conference held at Dumbarton Oaks, a building on Harvard Campus.

House Un-American Committee


It investigated potential Communists or those suspected of having Communist ties. Convicted many who were innocent.

Yalta Conference

February 1945

Peace conference between FDR, Churchill and Stalin in Soviet city Yalta. For soviets entering the Pacific War, FDR agreed to return some territory lost in the Russo-Japanese war. No agreement as to the future of Germany. At the end of the war, US, GB, France, and the Soviet Union would hold their own “zone of occupation” in Germany.

Potsdam Conference

July 1945

Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met in Potsdam, Russian Occupied Germany. Truman accepted the adjustments of the Polish-German border that Stalin demanded, but refused to permit Russians to claim any reparations from the American, French, and British zones of Germany. Divided Germany into Western Zones and Eastern Zone.

Railroad Strike


The nation’s railroads were completely shut down because two major unions went on strike. By threatening to use the army to run the trains, Truman pressured the workers back to work after only a few days.

J.Lewis and United Mine Workers

April 1946

John L. Lewis led United Mine Workers out on strike, shutting down coal fields for 40 days. Led to fear of nation failing without coal supplies.



Four large suburban neighborhoods developed by Gordon Levitt. First was in New York with construction from 1947-1951. Was as a result of the increased movement to suburbs.

Second Red Scare


Fear of Communism that was supported by government and characterized by McCarthy, so it's also known as McCarthyism.

Jackie Robinson


The first African-American to be signed into Major League Baseball. In 1947 the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him.

Truman Doctrine

March 12, 1947

Policy of the united States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

Marshall Plan

June 1947

Sec. of State George C. Marshall announced plan to provide economic assistance to all European nations that would join in drafting a program for recovery.

Taft-Hartley Act

June 23, 1947

Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947. Made illegal the “closed-shop” (in which workers must join a union before they can be hired). Permitted the “union shops” (workers must join a union after being hired). Permitted states to pass “right to work” laws prohibiting union shops.

National Security Act

July 26, 1947

Reshaped the nation’s major military and diplomatic institutions. New Department of Defense, which combined former Army and Navy departments.


October 4, 1947

Earth-orbiting satellite sent by the Soviet Union into outer space. Started the Space Race.

Pumpkin Papers


Microfilm produced by Chambers of stolen State Dept. documents that implicated Hiss in a Soviet spy scandal and that Chambers supposedly hid in a hollowed out pumpkin in his garden. Led to the conviction of Hiss.



Commercial television experienced a boom shortly after WWII. The television industry emerged directly from the radio industry, and specifically from the National Broadcasting Company, The Columbia Broadcasting System, and the American Broadcasting Company. Industry was driven by advertisement, which had a heavy influence on what was shown. Television soon became the nation's most important vehicle for information. Regular TV broadcasting began in 1948 but most popular in 1950s.

Shelley v. Kramer

May 3, 1948

The Supreme Court case established that racial covenants on real estate were unconstitutional based on the 14th Amendment, therefore taking strides to decrease discrimination allowed for by laws

Arab-Israeli Wars

May 14, 1948

Occurred semi-frequently with the first being in 1948 after America recognized Israel when it proclaimed its independence on May 14. The Palestinian Arabs joined with Israel’s Arab neighbors and fought against the new state.

Berlin Airlift

June 24, 1948

Stalin blockade West Berlin on June 24, 1948. Truman ordered massive airlift to supply the city with food, fuel, and other needed goods. Continued for 10 months, and nearly 2.5 million tons of material transported, keeping 2 million people alive. Stalin lifted the blockade in spring of 1949.

Democratic Convention 1948

July 12, 1948

Hubert Humphrey urged Democratic Party to "get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights," which led to a walkout by Southern delegates who later nominated Strom Thurmond as the presidential nominee of the States' Rights Party (Dixiecrats).

'Dewey Defeats Truman'

November 3, 1948

The election of 1948 was so close that the newspapers had printed headings that Dewey had defeated Truman when in reality, Truman won.

National Housing Act


Provided for the construction of 810,000 units of low income housing accompanied by long term rent subsidies


April 4, 1949

12 nations signed agreement creating North Atlantic Treaty Organization, declaring that an armed attack against one member would be considered an attack against all. Supposed to defend from soviet invasion,

Payola Scandal


The practice of radio DJs getting paid to play certain songs. Now has come to mean any secret payment made to cast a song of product in a certain light.

Alger Hiss convicted


Tried and Convicted in 1950 for perjury and suspected of being a communist spy. Issue brought up by Whittaker Chambers in the Pumpkin Papers affair

Domino Theory


It was promoted at times by the United States government, and speculated that if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to justify the need for American intervention around the world.



The biggest critics of the 1950s middle class in general was a group of young poets, writers, and artists known as the "Beatniks". They wrote harsh critiques of what they considered the sterility and conformity of American life, the lack of meaning in politics, and the lack of originality in popular culture. Showed the restlessness of American youth who had all prosperity of life and expected as such.

Checkers Speech

September 23, 1952

The speech allowed VP Nixon to explain away allegations of accepting bribes, such as Checkers the dog. The scandal should have served as a warning to the public but they still elected Nixon for President later.

Hydrogen Bomb

November 1, 1952

U.S. successfully detonated the first Hydrogen bomb. Unlike Plutonium and Uranium bombs that use fission (atom splitting) to explode, these bombs used fusion (atom joining between lighter and heavier atoms) to produce much more powerful explosions than any other previously used bombs.

Rosenbergs executed

June 19, 1953

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were United States citizens convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war, and executed. Their charges were related to the passing of information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass had been a part of the Manhattan Project and named his sister when he was accused.

Army-McCarthy Hearings

April 1954

When McCarthy attempted to attack the Army as communistic, these trials resulted. McCarthy's behavior in these televised hearings led to his downfall

Geneva Accords 1954

April 27, 1954

Between the French and Vietnamese which established a division of Vietnam along the 17th parallel. The north would be governed by Ho Chi Minh (Communist) and the South by Ngo Dinh Diem (a pro-Western “democracy”).

Brown v. Board of Education

May 17, 1954

Decision that overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and said that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional and schools could not segregate facilities.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Activist in the mid1950ss-1960s who promoted peaceful protests. Gained notoriety through the Montgomery Bus Boycott and then played a very active role in protests and gave many speeches.

Warsaw Pact

May 14, 1955

Alliance between communist governments of Eastern Europe and Soviet Union. Like NATO.

Brown II

May 31, 1955

Case that provided rules for implementing the Brown decision and decided that the desegregation of schools should occur with ‘all deliberate speed’.

Emmitt Till killed

August 28, 1955

12 year old boy who was brutally murdered by KKK members after allegedly whistling at a white woman. Failed to get a conviction because the jury was white men, many KKK members. After the trial some men confessed in interviews to the murder but they couldn't be tried again.

Rosa Parks arrested

December 1, 1955

Began the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to move to the back of the bus and was arrested.


December 4, 1955

Created when the AFL and the CIO combined to make a larger federation of unions, representing nearly all unionized laborers.

Southern Manifesto

March 1956

Response by southern politicians to the Brown decision that condemned that desegregation of public places.

Federal Highway Act of 1956

June 29, 1956

One of the most significant legislative accomplishment of the Eisenhower administration. It authorized $25 billion for a 10-year project that built over 40,000 miles of interstate highways which was the largest public works project in American history.

Hungarian Revolution

October 23, 1956

Hungarians began an uprising demanding democratic reforms. Within one month, Soviets crushed the uprising and restored a pro-Soviet regime.

Suez Crisis

October 29, 1956

Nassar seized control of the Suez Canal from the British and said he would use income from it to build up the dam himself.

October 29, 1956—Israeli forces attacked Egypt.

US feared the crisis would lead the Arab states to Soviet Union and against the US so US denounced and failed to support the invasion. US pressured the French and British to withdraw and helped persuade Israel to agree to a truce with Egypt.

Montgomery Bus Boycott begins

December 1, 1956

December, 1955-December, 1956—After Rosa Parks was arrested because she refused to move from her bus seat to the back of the bus the blacks in Montgomery began a year-long boycott. The boycott helped spur the court case that declared segregation in public transportation illegal. Also helped bring Martin Luther King to the forefront of the civil rights movement.

Eisenhower Doctrine

January 5, 1957

Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a country could request American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression from another state.

Watkins v. US

June 17, 1957

Held that the power of the United States Congress is not unlimited in conducting investigations, and that nothing in the U.S. Constitution gives it the authority to expose individuals' private affairs.

Yates v. US

June 17, 1957

Case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that held that the First Amendment protected radical and reactionary speech, unless it posed a "clear and present danger."

Little Rock Nine

September 1957

Nine black teenagers (Little Rock Nine) were enrolled at Little Rock Central High School and on the first day they were blocked from entering the school by the governor of Arkansas, Fabus. President Eisenhower had to call in the 101st airborne to guard the students so they could attend the school. Showed use of federal power was necessary to implement Supreme Court rulings on segregation.

Civil Rights Act 1957

September 9, 1957

Provided federal protection for blacks who wanted to register to vote. It was passed without active support from the White House by a Democratic Congress and was a weak bill with little methods of enforcement.

Hula Hoops


Toy invented that became very popular for entertainment in the late 1950s and continues to be popular.



Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, formed in fall of 1960 after staged sit-in in Greensboro, NC at segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Worked to keep the spirit of resistance alive. Southern Christian Leadership Conference, created citizen-education and other programs to mobilize blacks against segregation, disenfranchisement, and discrimination.

U-2 Crisis

may 1, 1960

Was going to be a peace summit between US and Soviets but a U-2 high-altitude American spy plane had been shot down over Russian Territory. Khrushchev canceled the Paris meeting and withdrew his invitation to Eisenhower to come to the Soviet Union.

Boynton v. Virginia

December 5, 1960

Case held that racial segregation in public transportation was illegal because such segregation violated the Interstate Commerce Act, which broadly forbade discrimination in interstate passenger transportation.

Declaration of Indian Purpose


Written at the American Indian Chicago Conference. The policy outlined many solutions to the problems of termination and was given to JFK by the National Congress of American Indians (it said that the natives had the right to choose their ways of life and still have a claim to their inheritance). The tribal governments started to bypass the Board of Indian Affairs and focus on self-determination plans.

Peace Corps

March 1, 1961

Organization started by JFK that was meant to help foreign nations and to try and improve America's image to keep countries from resorting to communism

Bay of Pigs

April 17, 1961

Anti-Castro Cuban forces had been collected prior to Kennedy taking office. 2000 armed exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, expecting first American air support, then a spontaneous uprising by the Cuban people in their behalf. Didn’t happen: boats got stuck on the rocks, and they were shot at and captured by the officials (including Castro) vacationing there. US tried to deny their support.

Mapp v. Ohio

June 19, 1961

The United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures," may not be used in state law criminal prosecutions in state or federal courts.

Ticky-Tacky Housing


Phrase used in a Malvina Reynolds song that refers to suburban houses as all looking the same and the shoddy construction material used. Song written in 1962.

Students for a Democratic Society


Was a student activist movement in the United States that was one of the main representations of the New Left.

The Other America published


Influential study of poverty in America; written by Michael Harrington.

Cesar Chavez


Formed United Farm Workers Union and participated in many other activities, including Delano grape strike, to get better conditions for farm laborers.

Baker v. Carr

March 26, 1962

Required state legislatures to apportion electoral districts so all citizens votes would have equal weight.

Port Huron Statement

June 1962

The declaration of the Students for a Democratic Society’s/New Left’s beliefs.

Silent Spring written

September 27, 1962

Written by Rachel Carson about the dangers of pesticides like DDT and helped begin the environmental movement.

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 14, 1962

October 14 aerial photos showed construction of Soviet Missile sites on Cuba. Kennedy ordered a naval and air blockade around Cuba on Oct. 22. Oct 26, Kennedy received word that the Soviet Ships carrying the missiles would turn around in exchange for the removal of American Missiles from turkey and an agreement not to invade Cuba.

The Feminine Mystique

February 19, 1963

Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, which is cited as the first event of contemporary women's liberation. She found that most women living as wives and mothers in the suburbs, were very unhappy. They complained that there were no outlets for their intelligence, talent, and education.

Gideon v. Wainwright

March 18, 1963

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Fourteenth Amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford to pay their own attorneys.

Martin Luther King arrested

April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter while in jail at Birmingham for participating in a non-violent civil rights march. It expressed his disappointment that more Christians didn’t support the fight against racism.

Medgar Evers Assassinated

June 1963

Was an NAACP field worker in Mississippi who was murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith tried twice but with a hung jury. Re-tried in 1994 with a legitimate jury of Evers's peers and convicted.

March on Washingtion

August 28, 1963

One of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history. Called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech advocating racial harmony during the march.

JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963

Shot in Dallas, TX by Lee Harvey Oswald. However, many conspiracy theories have grown from his assassination.


November 24, 1963

Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have murdered JFK single handedly on November 22, 1963 in Dallas. Was the one and only suspect, and was a Marxist. Said “I’m just a proxy” when arrested. Jack Ruby, strip club owner w/ mafia ties, shot Oswald 2 days later at point blank range as he was being moved from one jail to another. Led to conspiracy theories

Warren Commission

November 29, 1963

The commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, that was appointed by President Johnson to investigate the assassination. Found that both Warren and Oswald had acted alone. Years later people came up with conspiracy theories

Clean Air Act

December 17, 1963

Was designed to control air pollution levels around the nation. Was passed in response to the growing environmentalist movement.

24th Amendment

January 23, 1964

Prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.

New York times Co. v. Sullivan

March 9, 1964

Court held that debate on public issues would be inhibited if public officials could sue for inaccuracies made by mistake. This extended protection of the First Amendment and made it more difficult for public officials to bring libel charges against the press.

Freedom Summer

June 1964

Thousands of civil rights workers, black and white, spread though out the south, but primarily in Mississippi, to work on behalf of black voter registration and participation. First 3 workers to arrive in Mississippi, Andrew Goodman (w) Michael Schwerner (w) and James Chaney (b) were brutally murdered by the KKK w/ support of local police. Also produced the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was an integrated alternative to the regular state party organization.

Title VII

June 2, 1964

Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that extended to women the same legal protections against discrimination that were being extended to blacks.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

June 2, 1964

Outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.

British Invasion


Result of an increase in popularity of rock and pop music from Britain as well as other aspects of British culture in America.
This included the Beatles and Rolling Stones.



Medicare provided federal aid to the elderly for medical expenses. Medicaid provided federal medical assistance to welfare recipients and other indigent people of all ages.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

September 9, 1965

Created by LBJ, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s first secretary, Robert Weaver, was the first African American ever to serve in the cabinet. The program provided money in federal grants for the preservation of open spaces, development of mass transit systems, and the subsidization of middle income houses.

Immigration Act of 1965

October 3, 1965

maintained strict limit on the number of newcomers admitted to the country each year to 170,000, but eliminated the “national origins” system established in the 1920s, which had favored immigration from northern Europe to people from the rest of the world. This act, however, continued to restrict immigration from some parts of Latin America.

Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham

November 15, 1965

Case where the court failed to declare “pupil placement laws”, which allowed placement be determined by scholastic ability and behavior, which maintained segregation unconstitutional.

National Organization for Women


Formed partially as a result of The Feminine Mystique and was meant to help women get equal rights and more support. Was the early feminist organization.

Miranda v. Arizona

June 13, 1966

The court confirmed the obligation of authorities to inform a criminal suspect of his or her rights.

Loving v. Virginia

June 12, 1967

The Supreme Court invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

Thurgood Marshall SC Justice

October 2, 1967

Was the lawyer for Linda Brown in Brown v. Board and became the first black justice to serve on the Supreme Court.

American Indian Movement


Started 1968 by a group of young Native Americans, protested government policies and injustices. In 1973, the AIM organized the occupation of Wounded Knee, SD to bring attention to Indian rights.

Malcom X Assassinated

February 21, 1968

Civil rights advocate of black power and black nationalism. More radical than MLK, and promoted more violence. Condemned MLK's peacefulness. Supposedly assassinated by Black Muslims

MLK Assassinated

April 4, 1968

Assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee by James Earl Ray. His death spurred many riots in cities and ushered in a more violent era of civil rights protests.

Brandenburg v. Ohio

June 9, 1969

The Court held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is directed to inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action.

Stonewall Riot

June 28, 1969

A spontaneous and violent demonstration by the gay community against the police raid that took place early in the morning at the Stonewall Inn (known gay bar), NYC.


August 15, 1969

Was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music". It is widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history.



Area that includes the Southeast, Southwest, and California where population began to grow immensely throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Shifted economic focus and produced a change in political climate.

Equal Rights Amendment

March 1972

Proposed amendment to the United States Constitution originally written by Alice Paul that would guarantee women equal rights for women. Seemed likely that it would pass, but it lost support in the late 1970s because of rising objections that is would disrupt traditional social patterns. Amendment died because the time allotted for ratification expired.

Wounded Knee

February 27, 1973

AIM members seized and occupied the town for 71 days. Also, the protestors attacked the government's failure to fulfill treaties with Indian peoples and they demanded that treaty negotiations reopen.